View Full Version : How do you decide on subject matter/

02-05-2006, 09:34 PM
Just wondering how people decide on what to paint.What motivates you?

02-05-2006, 10:28 PM
Hi Rune....Well, I paint pictures that I feel truly inspired about.....I see beautiful slightly surreal landscapes in Elizabeth Mowry's new book ....they inspire me....I try to paint pictures similiar to these.....Pictures of females inspire me...both portraits and figures....I try to do both. I have an old oil painting book by artist Jan Deruth(sp).....his beautiful female figure paintings are very inspirational to me.....I see the way the setting sun illuminates just the top half of the trees in my yard.....and that inspires me.
I have an old oil painting book by Wendon Blake...."Painting female portraits in oil"......I paint these pictures in pastels....very inspiring....I have to feel PASSION for a subject before I can paint it.....I simply cannot do still lifes of bowls and fruit....no passion whatsoever....beautiful landscapes and beautiful figures done in pastels/oils really get me going and make me want to keep trying to get better at painting. THANKS....Art

02-05-2006, 10:37 PM
alot depends on my mood. Am I in the mood to experiment with something I haven't done? If I do florals, it's because I'm so sick of winter and long for spring and summer. Illustrations are because I feel like doing something that's in my strength so I can just have fun - especially focusing on the 20s and 30s. I do European cityscapes when I feel my french half kicking up.
So, it is definitely my mood. Also, if I happen to see something that just clicks with me. Shoots an idea out of my head.
Hope it helps

02-05-2006, 10:37 PM
Agreed. i feel the same way. I need beautifull faces,bodies too, but im not much at figures right now. But I am always looking for a beautifull face.

I tend to go gfor so-called exotic types.Amazonian beauties etc.

No passion=no art.I must have passion to do something. J'aime la france. God what a nice language. Yes I love those parisian paintings.

02-06-2006, 01:58 AM
Color inspires me. Right now, Im doing all reds and I'm sure when I am done with reds, I'll go to blues. I'm doing my own version of Georgia OKeeffes Red Canna in reds and I also paint yantra's - the one I am doing is red/orange/amber/purples. So I am developing the need for sky's and oceans now to chill out... For the most part, colorful landscapes.....

02-06-2006, 07:15 AM
I'm working a great deal from pictures right now. I take lots of my own, but have also been using the pictures from the RIL, especially animal/bird pictures. Deciding what to do next is such a time waster, and yet I do it all the time. :rolleyes: I often have more than one idea in my head, so sometimes it's just eeny-meanie-miney-moe to finalize the decision. Not very scientific, but it gets me off the fence. :D

02-06-2006, 01:19 PM
well- from the looks of the pastel posts on sunday- when in doubt- paint a puppy LOL

02-06-2006, 04:42 PM

If I were a woman I'd say..my sixth sense :-)
Now more seriuosly, I like to try several things, altough landscapes are probably my favourite subject.
I like landscapes full of mistery, where it seems that magical creatures will jump behind trees and start partying.



02-06-2006, 05:14 PM
Ahhh, the mystery of inspiration. I get inspired by pretty much anything. My particular passions are landscapes and animals. Somedays I wish I could paint people, but my past attempts have proven...blech.

I used to feel hopeless at landscapes, but some plein air study time helped me see things differently and now I do alright at them. I will always be a sucker for an animal, though. Give me an interesting picture and I will try to turn it into a masterpiece (ha ha - well, as close as I can come to one)

As artists we have the capabilities to paint anything, but if it doesn't speak directly to us, we have trouble finding the muse. The trick is learning to listen for that inspiration....

02-07-2006, 11:55 AM
I have to feel PASSION for a subject before I can paint it.....I simply cannot do still lifes of bowls and fruit....no passion whatsoever....beautiful landscapes and beautiful figures done in pastels/oils really get me going

LOL, isn't it funny how we are all inspired by different things. I sure can agree on a beautiful landscape, but human figures just bore me to tears. I *do* them in art class, because human models are what we have to work with, but I don't get any particular enjoyment out of it.

But a gorgeous bowl or pitcher, or a lovely apple or pear. I just love that. I think still lifes are incredible and wish I could do them better and had more opportunity to do them.